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The TweakGuides Tweaking Companion (TGTC) is the complete system customization and optimization guide for all Windows users. Designed for novice and advanced users alike, it is written in plain English to help you genuinely understand all key aspects of Windows and your PC. The guide covers every major topic, from the correct installation of critical drivers and software, through to simple explanations and recommendations for every significant Windows setting and feature, all the major performance and convenience tweaks and customizations, as well as detailed troubleshooting advice. Also provided are links and instructions for a large number of reliable free applications that can enhance your system and give you viable alternatives to purchasing commercial software.



Deluxe Edition: The enhanced Deluxe Edition of the TGTC contains detailed screenshots and illustrative images, as well as other useful features that make using this book much more convenient, such as high quality text resolution for better print quality, full bookmarks for jumping quickly to particular areas of the book, and the ability to copy text, which is handy for correctly assigning lengthy Registry values or entering complex commands. These features are all missing from the free Regular Edition, so if you want these enhancements, and also want to show your support, please consider purchasing the Deluxe Edition. The PDF e-book version has no intrusive DRM and is around the price of a cup of coffee. For more details see the Deluxe Edition page.




Windows 8

Deluxe Edition


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Version: 2.0

Last Updated: 18 October 2013

Pages: 677

Size: 55.0 MB

Cost: $4.50


Regular Edition

Pages: 479

Size: 3.7 MB

Cost: Free

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Windows 7

Deluxe Edition


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Version: 2.0

Last Updated: 1 June 2013

Pages: 595

Size: 38.0 MB

Cost: $4.50


Regular Edition

Pages: 439

Size: 3.5 MB

Cost: Free

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Windows Vista

Deluxe Edition


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Version: 3.0

Last Updated: 23 June 2010

Pages: 388

Size: 32.1 MB

Cost: $4.50


Regular Edition

Pages: 303

Size: 2.3 MB

Cost: Free

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Windows XP

Deluxe Edition


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Version: 5.0

Last Updated: 23 June 2010

Pages: 263

Size: 17.8 MB

Cost: $4.50


Regular Edition

Pages: 208

Size: 1.6 MB

Cost: Free

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Clicking the Buy Now button does not commit you to a purchase. It takes you to a screen with details of the purchase price and available payment methods. You can pay using various methods, including via a PayPal account, or with a major Credit Card. The transaction is handled entirely by PayPal and E-Junkie E-Commerce in an encrypted and 100% secure environment. Once purchased you will be shown a secure download link, as well as being emailed one for your records. Note that this is a one-off purchase and not an ongoing subscription. See the Deluxe Edition page for more details.



Version History





Usage Instructions


Once downloaded, first extract the PDF file from the .ZIP archive using the built-in Windows compression utility, or the free 7-Zip utility. Then use the free Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader software to read the PDF file. The files above are guaranteed not to be corrupt or contain any malware. If you have any issues viewing them, the best solution is to update your PDF reader software, or try the alternative software. Also disable any download managers when attempting to download the file.



Hosting, Distribution & Translations


Reproducing, altering, hosting, selling or mass distributing these books in any way is not permitted. The latest versions are always available from TweakGuides.com. Translations of these books are also not permitted, as unfortunately I have absolutely no way to determine the quality and accuracy of any translations, which is a concern given the somewhat complex and often delicate procedures in them. I've invested a huge amount of time and effort into creating these books, and I also provide a free version of them which is easily accessible so that the widest possible audience can benefit from their contents. People who host these books or portions of them are usually doing so to generate easy traffic, income or credit for themselves using my hard work, which is not acceptable. Appropriate action will be taken against any such individuals who do not respect the concept of author rights. For those who do not understand the strictness of these conditions, please see here.



Problems and Technical Support


These books are provided 'as is', and I cannot provide any technical support. It simply isn't viable or appropriate for me to do so, so under no circumstances will I provide personalized optimization, customization or purchasing advice/feedback, or any other form of technical support related to the information in these books. The whole reason for writing these books is to give each and every reader a thorough rundown on all the steps necessary to customize and optimize their system. As such, there are sufficient resources and links in the books to help anyone learn more about their system and solve most any problem when combined with additional research and thought. For more details please see here.






Version History


Below are the changes made to the most recent version of each book. Note that the Regular and Deluxe Editions are updated with exactly the same changes at the same time. The page numbers below refer to the Regular Edition, with TGTC for Windows 7 and 8 Deluxe Edition page changes provided in parentheses. E.g. pp.26 (34) means page 26 of the Regular Edition, and page 34 of the Deluxe Edition.



TGTC for Windows 8 [Version 2.0]


This is a major revision in terms of a large number of changes, many due to Windows 8.1. Minor changes are not listed below, and include a range of small alterations or improvements to descriptions and advice.


All pages - Fixed any dead or inaccurate hyperlinks.
All pages - Fixed a range of typographical/grammatical errors.
All pages - Included numerous additional images (Deluxe Edition).
pp.26-34 (30-45) - New Features chapter updated for the key Windows 8.1 changes.
pp.35 (46) - Windows Experience Index section removed due to removal of feature in Windows 8.1.
pp.39 (55) - File History section updated with notes for Library and SkyDrive changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.42 (58) - Windows 7 File History section removed due to removal of feature in Windows 8.1
pp.42-43 (58-59) - Added System Image Backup section, altered access instructions due to Windows 8.1.
pp.43 (59-60) - Added Recovery Drive section.
pp.44 (60) - Added SkyDrive section due to Windows 8.1.
pp.53 (71) - Updated SkyDrive usage instructions due to Windows 8.1.
pp.57-64 (77-87) - System Recovery section updated for settings changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.84 (112-113) - Product Versions section updated due to changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.85 (113) - Added Windows 8.1 section.
pp.92-99 (121-128) - Added more SSD-specific instructions.
pp.101-108 (133-143) - Windows Installation instructions updated for changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.109-112 (145-147) - Windows Activation section updated for changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.118 (155) - Custom Boot Screen instructions updated to add Boot UI Tuner utility.
pp.123-128 (161-166) - File Explorer navigation pane details updated due to SkyDrive, Library and This PC changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.138-141 (179-185) - Added SkyDrive section detailing its File Explorer integration as of Windows 8.1.
pp.142-145 (185-189) - Libraries section advice and instructions updated due to de-emphasizing of Libraries in Windows 8.1.
pp.160 (207) - Added Step 1 - Windows 8.1 section on obtaining the Windows 8.1 upgrade.
pp.172 (222) - Added Driver Store Explorer utility.
pp.175-178 (226-232) - Local Account vs. Microsoft Account section revised and expanded due to changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.180-182 (234-236) - User Account Strategies section advice updated due to changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.182-186 (236-241) - Managing User Accounts section instructions updated due to changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.192 (251) - Added link regarding Windows 8.1 security changes.
pp.211 (276) - Added Metro-based SmartScreen settings introduced as of Windows 8.1.
pp.223 (292) - Expanded list of third party anti-malware packages.
pp.227 (297) - Noted recent addition of two-step verification to Microsoft Accounts.
pp.238-240 (310-312) - SuperFetch advice updated due to more information regarding its workings in Windows 8/8.1.
pp.251-255 (327-332) - Solid State Drives section updated, reorganized and expanded.
pp.258-259 (336-337) - Hyper-V instructions expanded.
pp.267-269 (349-352) - Optimize Drives section expanded.
pp.272 (355) - Add Features to Windows 8.1 section renamed due to Windows 8.1.
pp.280 (369) - Added Mouse Acceleration Fix link.
pp.280-281 (370-372) - Network Sharing Center section updated due to changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.281 (372) - Performance Information and Tools instructions removed due to removal of component in Windows 8.1.
pp.284-285 (376-377) - Added CPU Power Management & Core Parking section.
pp.288-290 (381-383) - Programs and Features section updated for new and changed Windows Features as of Windows 8.1.
pp.291 (387) - System component updated due to removal of WEI in Windows 8.1.
pp.293 (390) - Taskbar section renamed Taskbar and Navigation; Windows 7 File Recovery instructions removed; Work Folders section added due to changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.294-301 (392-407) - PC Settings chapter significantly expanded due to changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.323 (437) - Added Disable SkyDrive Integration tip.
pp.326-332 (440-445) - Search Methods section revised due to changes to Windows Search in Windows 8.1.
pp.331 (449-450) - Federated Search instructions updated.
pp.332-333 (452-453) - Search Index section updated due to changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.338-359 (459-490) - Internet Explorer chapter revised due to introduction of IE11 in Windows 8.1.
pp.350 (477) - Accelerators instructions improved.
pp.355 (485) - Added Pin Sites to Start Screen or Apps Screen section due to improved pinned sites functionality in Windows 8.1.
pp.357 (487-488) - Added Blocking Advertising section detailing TPLs and Adblock plugin for IE.
pp.360-361 (493-496) - Mail Metro section updated due to significant changes to Mail app in Windows 8.1.
pp.394 (542) - DirectX 11.2 and WDDM 1.3 links and details added due to introduction of these features in Windows 8.1.
pp.396 (544-545) - Start Screen details revised for changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.397 (546-547) - All Apps renamed to Apps Screen and revised for changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.397-398 (547) - Added Start Button details due to return of Start button in Windows 8.1.
pp.398-399 (547-550) - Tiles details revised and expanded due to enhanced tile features in Windows 8.1.
pp.399 (551) - App Bar instructions revised due to changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.400-401 (552-553) - Charms Menu instructions revised due to changes in Windows 8.1.
pp.401-403 (554-557) - Using Apps instructions revised due to enhanced functionality in Windows 8.1.
pp.403 (558-559) - Power User Tasks Menu has added power options menu as of Windows 8.1.
pp.404-405 (559-561) - Start Menu Replacement utilities instructions refined.
pp.405-406 (563-564) - Customize the Start Screen instructions refined; removed boot to Desktop instructions due to native option in Windows 8.1.
pp.407 (565) - Added Customize the Lock Screen instructions.
pp.408 (565-566) - Added Customize the Login Screen instructions, including Start Screen Color Tuner utility.
pp.408 (566) - Added Remove the Start Button instructions, including the StartIsGone utility.
pp.408-409 (567) - Added Customize App Tiles instructions, including the OblyTile utility.
pp.409 (568) - Added Open Apps in Desktop Windows instructions, including the ModernMix utility.
pp.409 (569) - Aero Glass instructions expanded, including WindowBlinds and Aero Glass for Windows 8 tools.
pp.410-411 (570-571) - Desktop Gadgets instructions revised.
pp.411-413 (572-574) - Desktop section revised for changes in features as of Windows 8.1.
pp.413 (574) - Added Boot to Desktop section detailing this new feature in Windows 8.1.
pp.413 (574-575) - Added Reduce Startup Delay for Desktop Programs section covering this tweak.
pp.418 (583) - Display Settings section updated for changes to interface options as of Windows 8.1.
pp.426 (594) - Added Opaque Taskbar utility.
pp.430 (599) - Added Dxtory utility.
pp.436-438 (609-610) - Fixed context menu power options instructions.
pp.442-443 (619) - Added DirectX 11 details, including DirectX 11.2 for gaming.
pp.447 (625) - Noted removal of Performance Information and Tools component as of Windows 8.1.
pp.447-448 (625-627) - Windows Experience Index section revised due to removal of WEI from the interface as of Windows 8.1.
pp.454-455 (638) - System Health Report instructions revised due to removal of direct access to feature as of Windows 8.1.
pp.463 (651-652) - Process Explorer instructions revised.
pp.466 (657) - Added Valley benchmark.
pp.471-473 (668-670) - Disk Cleanup instructions refined.




TGTC for Windows 7 [Version 2.0]


This is a major revision in terms of a large number of changes. Minor changes are not listed below, and include general improvements to descriptions, as well as changes to chapter structure and names, and the updating/refinement of a range of advice throughout the book.


All pages - Fixed any dead or inaccurate hyperlinks.
All pages - Fixed a range of typographical/grammatical errors.
pp.33 (44) - SIW removed due to adware and trial only status.
pp.48 (67) - Updated KeePass instructions.
pp.49 (68) - Other Backup Methods section updated to add SkyDrive and Dropbox.
pp.72-76 (99-103) - Overclocking chapter removed, overclocking advice updated, streamlined and presented as an Overclocking section under the Hardware Management chapter.
pp.78 (105) - Added Deactivate/Deauthorize Software tip prior to Windows installation.
pp.81,140 (109,185) - Added links to Windows 7 SP1 ISO images.
pp.84-89 (112-120) - Rearranged, updated and expanded the Preparing the Drive section.
pp.107-108 (144-145) - Updated EasyBCD instructions.
pp.108 (146) - Added Windows 7 Boot Updater utility and instructions.
pp.138-139 (182-184) - Updated and expanded Driver Signature section.
pp.144 (190) - Added Intel Chipset Software package update instructions.
pp.151 (199) - Replaced Driver Sweeper with Driver Fusion.
pp.152 (200) - Added Driver Store Explorer utility and instructions.
pp.174 (228) - Added tip on how to disable UAC virtualization.
pp.192 (250-251) - Added Enhanced Migration Experience Toolkit security utility and instructions.
pp.195-199 (255-261) - Changed anti-malware software advice.
pp.200-208 (262-272) - Major revision of Important Security Tips section.
pp.227-231 (293-297) - Expanded the Solid State Drives optimization section.
pp.238 (310) - Revised and expanded AHCI advice.
pp.240 (312-313) - Added NTFSInfo and Defraggler utilities for viewing MFT information.
pp.254-258 (333-338) - Expanded Power Options section, added Core Parking information.
pp.267 (352) - Added another Registry location for startup programs.
pp.267-268 (353-354) - Autoruns instructions updated.
pp.306-323 (401-424) - Internet Explorer chapter updated and expanded for IE10.
pp.324-338 (425-445) - Windows Live Mail chapter updated for latest version.
pp.353-356 (465-468) - Expanded Audio & Video Codecs section.
pp.382-384 (507-510) - Updated and expanded Gadgets section.
pp.385 (511) - Added Dxtory utility.
pp.391 (521) - Added DesktopOK utility and instructions.
pp.393-394 (523-524) - Added context menu method for creating Shutdown, Restart, Sleep & Lock items.
pp.400 (534) - Added partial DX11.1 support Platform Update information.
pp.422 (567) - Added Windows 8 Task Manager utility.
pp.425 (574) - Added Valley GPU stress testing utility.
pp.427-428 (580-581) - Added AS SSD and ATTO disk benchmarking utilities.
pp.432-434 (588-590) - CCleaner advice updated.
pp.437-438 (593-594) - Regular Maintenance advice updated.



TGTC for Vista [Version 3.0]


This is a relatively major revision in terms of a combination of numerous minor changes as well as updating the layout of the book.

This is also the last major revision for the Windows Vista version of this book.


All pages - Fixed any dead or inaccurate hyperlinks.
All pages - Fixed a range of typographical/grammatical errors.
All pages - Updated layout.
All pages - Various minor edits and updates throughout to improve readability and accuracy.
pp.15-17 - Vista Usage Notes chapter revised.
pp.18-23 - Revised Basic PC Terminology chapter with updated/additional information.
pp.25-26 - Sandra usage information updated, added SIW and HD Tune utilities.
pp.34-35 - Expanded online backup advice.
pp.38 - Updated KeePass usage information.
pp.39 - Added Recuva utility.
pp.46 - Added UEFI details.
pp.48-53 - Expanded Hardware Maintenance section.
pp.58-59 - Revised SP1 and SP2 slipstreaming advice, added tutorial links.
pp.61 - Removed Partition Magic utility and replaced with GParted utility.
pp.61-62 - Added short stroking advice.
pp.63-64 - Updated 32-bit vs. 64-bit advice.
pp.78 - Expanded Live Icon details.
pp.84-86 - Revised Edit Context Menus section; added Autoruns, ShellMenuView, ShellExView instructions.
pp.93,248,260 - Added Platform Update for DirectX 11 functionality details.
pp.93,248,250-260 - Added/revised DirectX information for DirectX 11.
pp.94-95 - Revised Motherboard and Graphics Drivers information.
pp.99-100 - Expanded Uninstalling Drivers section.
pp.102-103 - General Driver Tips section revised/expanded.
pp.104-133 - Revised PC Security chapter Microsoft Security Essentials replaces AVG; Spybot replaces Ad-aware.
pp.139-142 - Revised Virtual Memory configuration advice.
pp.147 - Corrected Master File Table description.
pp.148-150 - Revised Windows Disk Defragmenter and Advanced Defragmentation sections; Diskeeper configuration details removed.
pp.151-152 - Added Customizing the Windows Control Panel section.
pp.200 - Added TDSC utility.
pp.206-207 - Expanded/revised the Maintaining the Registry section.
pp.229-230 - Corrected Increase Maximum Simultaneous Connections tip.
pp.230-231 - Added IE7Pro utility instructions.
pp.244-247 - Revised the Audio & Video Codecs and Digital Rights Management sections.
pp.257 - Expanded Advanced Icon Customization section.
pp.264-270 - Revised Overclocking chapter with updated/additional information.
pp.287-290 - Added Heaven, Lightsmark, HD Tune utilities; updated Prime95 instructions.
pp.294-296 - Updated/expanded CCleaner usage information.
pp.296-297 - Revised Manual Cleaning section.
pp.299-300 - Revised and reordered Regular Maintenance chapter instructions.




TGTC for XP [Version 5.0]


This is a relatively major revision in terms of a combination of numerous minor changes as well as updating the layout of the book.

This is also the last major revision for the Windows XP version of this book.


All pages - Fixed any dead or inaccurate hyperlinks.
All pages - Fixed a range of typographical/grammatical errors.
All pages - Updated layout.
All pages - Various minor edits and updates throughout to improve readability and accuracy.
pp.14-19 - Revised Basic PC Terminology chapter with updated/additional information.
pp.21-22 - Sandra usage information updated.
pp.22 - Added HD Tune utility.
pp.26-27 - Online backup instructions expanded.
pp.29 - KeePass usage information updated.
pp.30 - Added Recuva utility.
pp.30-31 - Expanded Permanently Deleting Files section.
pp.35 - Added UEFI details.
pp.47-49 - Revised Motherboard and Graphics Drivers information.
pp.52 - General Driver Tips section revised/expanded.
pp.54-67 - Revised PC Security chapter Microsoft Security Essentials replaces AVG; Spybot replaces Ad-aware.
pp.70 - Removed Cacheman utility; the available versions of this utility are not recommended.
pp.71-73 - Revised Virtual Memory configuration advice.
pp.77 - Diskeeper configuration details removed.
pp.118-119 - CCleaner usage information updated.
pp.128 - CCleaner registry cleaning instructions added.
pp.139-141 - Revised Edit Context Menus section; added Autoruns, ShellMenuView, ShellExView instructions.
pp.156 - Corrected Increase Maximum Simultaneous Connections tip.
pp.157 - Added IE7Pro utility instructions.
pp.160-164 - Added various recommendations for Windows Live Mail.
pp.170-171 - Revised Audio & Video Codecs section.
pp.176 - Added RocketDock utility.
pp.180-189 - Revised Overclocking chapter with updated/additional information.
pp.191-194 - Added Heaven, Lightsmark, HD Tune & Opti Drive Control utilities; updated Prime95 instructions.
pp.203-204 - Revised and reordered Regular Maintenance chapter instructions.


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